Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Review

About a week and a half ago it came in the mail. I was a Star Wars fan-boy growing up and still am to this day. The Force Unleashed was a simple wet dream for anyone who ever wanted to go absolutely buck wild with the Force and show gravity that we’re sick of living under its theoretical rule. However there were other matters at hand that kept me from playing. I was married October 30’th and quickly hit the honeymoon. There my wife put up a rule of “Absolutely no video games or Polish the Console.” She won that round so when I got back I decided it was time to get to work. I had done everything imaginable to stay away from other reviews of the game. If I hadn’t then I would have known what was ahead of me.

star wars the force unleashed 2 trailer image

This is what this game could have been. Dark, brooding, awesome.

I couldn’t wait to get back into the boots of Starkiller and traverse the galaxy throwing Stormtroopers through windows. I could only hope a few Jawas would get tossed into a large ship or chasm because, well…what else do you do with Jawas?

What I got started off on a strong note and then slowly Force Choked itself to death.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 – Controls

The controls for The Force Unleashed 2 were absolutely tightened up when compared to the previous outing. Force gripping behaved more intuitively and precisely. Plus the addition of being able to manipulate multiple objects at once became really fun.  This did however become a bit of a problem when you had to be precise with your force pickups however it wasn’t a game breaker. Force powers definitely got a big upgrade in the control department.

That being said lightsaber combat took a step back. They added the fun addition of “grapple” where you hit two buttons together and you either do a Force manipulations and lightsaber combo, or just lightsaber the hell out of the guy. However there were only two to choose from. It never varied to anything more interesting, never allowed to learn new moves. It fell flat. Add onto this that there was no variation in what you did with your lightsabers. In the first game the speed with which you tapped the lightsaber attack button caused for new combos to be unleashed. It became interesting to find the right timing and use for them. There was none of that in the Force Unleashed 2. It was almost pure button mashing.

However it was enjoyable button mashing.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2’s controls get a 4/5

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 -Gameplay

Star Wars The Force Unleased 2 from Lucas Arts

Nothing to worry about when this pup's leash is off. It's not a fighter.

The Force Unleashed 2 does a good job of not breaking the environment. Everything flows naturally and there are no awkward load screen pauses. The downside is that I was seemingly unable to skip these scenes on my first play through. I’m willing to admit pilot error on this one. Just how the hell do you skip these things? I just don’t want to watch all of them all the time.

Conversations via communicators help to create a sense of urgency, although I feel they could have done a better job addressing these communications by a little more than “I see you still use the same com frequency.” Really guys? Couldn’t get more creative than that? Hell even ignoring it all together most likely would have made me think…well…nothing. You just had to blatantly address this? Really?

Then there is Starkiller’s incessant whining about having to find Juno and not caring about the Rebellion. While I can certainly understand his goals and his drive does he really have to keep on about it? At some point I was praying someone somewhere would just say “Hey, Mr. Jedi….stop being a whiny bitch and just do it.”

Not to mention there is a level that is 100% pointless. Dagobah’s entire purpose is to throw a few crystals, spheres, and a fancy pants movie that you can’t interact with at you. Forget adding a fun Force puzzle, or at least one boss that requires me to fire up the twin lightsabers. Nope, walk a little bit. Jump a little bit. Find a small green Jedi and sit back and watch a movie. I wanted to pull a X-Wing from a swamp damnit! I know this takes place in events after the game, but let me pull SOMETHING awesome from the swamps. Anything….

I sat down thinking I was coming back from my honeymoon to a great story that would take me a while to get through. I was ready for an all day all night Star Wars love fest that would leave me panting, sweaty, and red eyed for work come Monday morning. I didn’t get that. It took me 6 hours. Yes. 6 hours. Instead of a Force fueled nerdtastic Star Wars honeymoon of sweaty Jedi love of my own I had game that prematurely ended all over itself just when things were starting to get enjoyable. It didn’t even say it was sorry. Or that this was the first time anything like this has ever happened. WTF TFU2!?!?!!It was absolutely the let down of my gaming year.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2’s gameplay gets a 1/5

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 -Graphics

The graphics also received a much needed upgrade from the first outing. While I would never say that they were below average to begin with they seem tighter and more thought out. Everything from the clothing to the lightning got a wonderful upgrade. They took thought and care into showing how a TIE Fighter may look when being caught and crushed by an overwhelming amount of Force power to how an active lightsaber would react when hit by rain (spoiler alert: they steam). Its the massive and minor overhauls that really make this video game feel more polished than before.

There is one minor part that irked me about the first game that was never corrected. Every time a character walked in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed they looked like they were trudging through a muddy swamp with a pant load. It it was more of a lumbering than a natural fluid motion. This wasn’t really corrected. I can’t understand why nobody at Lucas Arts seems to notice that they character move as if they have a loaded diaper and are on a floor made of caramel.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2’s graphics get a 4/5

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 -Story

And this is the part where the fan-boy in my takes a screaming dump. Canon aside the story ends when it really begins. They had this potential to take a really captivating and potentially moving story of Jedi love but instead they give you a half finished patch work blanket of Star Wars cameos. It’s like the blanket my grandmother made me back in the 80’s. Loved it, thought it was epic,  but it never felt truly…Star Wars worthy. The greatest part of The Force Unleashed was that it told the story of how the Rebellion came to be. The Force Unleashed 2 tells the story of how cranky a Jedi becomes when it won’t stop raining. That’s about it.

And not to ruin any spoilers, but in the last scene you will find yourself thinking “Either PROXY is a lying prick bastard or a total dumbass.”

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2’s story gets a 1/5

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 – Overall Score

Overall the shortcomings are insurmountable when compared to the improvements. It’s a hastily made, poorly concluded mess of a game. If you’re a total Star Wars junkie then grab it from GameFly or Blockbuster. Else just wait until it heavily discounted and used from GameStop. Save your money. Buy a dog instead. At least that will leave you feeling rewarded.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 gets an overall score of 2/5

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

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